What we can learn from Nikolai the Serb

nikolai the serb

God raises up prophetic voices from time to time, and it's our loss when we miss their appearance. One such prophetic voice was Nikolai Velimirovich of Ochrid and Zhicha. Many of us missed him because he was born in Eastern Europe and, though he ended his life in the United States, died more than half a century ago.Thankfully, there is a wonderful documentary about his life, Saint Nikolai the Serb. It captures some of his presence and importance, particularly to his native people but … [Read more...]

What Barton and Copeland get wrong about war and faith

barton and copeland

In this video Kenneth Copeland and David Barton argue that soldiers returning from war should not suffer PTSD or self-condemnation because of their experiences. I know they mean well, but their treatment of the scripture is baffling."Look how many people in Hebrews 11 faith hall of fame are warriors," says Barton."Almost the whole list, man," says Copeland."The whole thing," affirms Barton.But, no, not actually. Here are the individuals listed in Hebrews 11:Abel, not a … [Read more...]

George Orwell and bending the Bible for our own purposes

George Orwell

Florence King once called George Orwell “Every conservative’s favorite liberal and every liberal’s favorite conservative.” Why? Conservatives invoke his critiques of totalitarianism. Progressives appeal to his attacks on reactionary politics. Orwell is easily bent to many ends -- like the Bible.Here's an enlightening quote from a review in The New Statesman:Since whoever we are (save for a few sad Leninists) we all agree with George Orwell, it usually follows that Orwell must agree w … [Read more...]

Why moving stinks and staying is better

moving

Ben Franklin once said that "three removes is as bad as a fire. . . ." He might have been understating things.Megan and I found a wonderful house, much closer to our church, family, friends, and familiar haunts. Happily, we had a contract on our own home in a very short period of time. The realtor was a rock star. The movers were great, too. But then it got crazy.I realize mortgage companies caught a lot of flak for offering loans to underemployed golden retrievers in days past. … [Read more...]

Read the Bible if you’re going to have an opinion about it

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has a list of books you should read. His selection concerns works of profound and lasting influence, such as On the Origin of Species and The Wealth of Nations.Topping the list -- not too surprisingly -- is the Bible. But curiously Tyson slanders the book. Why read it? "[T]o learn that it’s easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself," he says.It reminds me of a comment by Fr. Tom Hopko: If you're going to h … [Read more...]

Doh! Archbishop of Canterbury forgets what it means to become a Christian

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

While undertaking a revision of the traditional christening (or baptismal) service, the Church of England has pretty much negated the whole enterprise.Whereas once parents and godparents were asked if they "reject the devil and all rebellion against God," along with "the sins that separate us from God and neighbor," the new language prompts disavowal of "evil . . . and all its empty promises." It's a fine thought, but hardly an adequate baptismal renunciation.The revisions are, as the … [Read more...]

Have you seen The Island?

ostrov

It's a Russian movie (original title, Ostrov) about a young man who is forced during the war to shoot his captain. Right after the tragedy, he ends up at a monastery and begins a tortured life of repentance, which frequently drives his fellow monks to exasperation.The movie primarily follows the closing chapter of Fr. Anatoly's life. Regarded as a holy man, locals flock to him for his spiritual insight. In one scene a fearful young woman comes to him, hoping somehow for a rationale to … [Read more...]


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